Afghan Migrant Arrested After Trying to Flee Country Following Murder of Austrian Teen

A policewoman patrols over a Christmas market in Salzburg on December 20, 2016, as security measures are taken after a deadly rampage by a lorry driver at a Berlin Christmas market. / AFP / APA / BARBARA GINDL / Austria OUT (Photo credit should read BARBARA GINDL/AFP/Getty Images)

A 17-year-old Afghan migrant has been arrested in connection to the murder of a 16-year-old Austrian girl after he attempted to buy a forged passport and flee the country.

Afghan migrant Saber Akhondzada, who came to Austria illegally in 2016, was arrested in Vienna by police on Tuesday evening after fleeing the city of Steyr in Upper Austria 48 hours before, Kronen Zeitung reports.

The failed asylum seeker is suspected of being involved in the murder of 16-year-old Michelle F. who was found dead of a stab wound to the lung by her mother and older sister under a pile of clothing on Sunday.

According to the mother, the Afghan migrant has been living with her daughter since the Thursday before the murder. Around ten hours passed between the murder and the discovery of the body, by which time Akhondzada is alleged to have fled the scene.

A nationwide manhunt was called to capture the Afghan migrant who had fled to Vienna where he is claimed to have attempted to make contact with a passport forger through an Afghan drug dealer.

The forger told his friend, 23-year-old Markus D., who had been helping the family look for the migrant, that he had been contacted by the suspect. “After I got the information from my friend, I immediately contacted a police officer,” Markus said.

The forger then convinced the suspect to turn himself over to the police and after calling investigators and arranging a meeting place, the suspect was arrested at a train station in Vienna.

According to the victim’s 20-year-old brother, the suspect had told him he had killed someone previously. “Saber told me he killed a man in Afghanistan and fled. If only I had gone to the police, but there was no evidence,” he said.

Michelle’s 52-year-old mother said that the two had met over Facebook and that Akhondzada had previously lived in a youth home and moved in order to be closer to the teen. The mother added, “He treated Michelle like his possession and lived at our expense,” and said authorities encouraged the idea of the migrant staying with the family.

The murder is just the latest to involve a failed asylum seeker and a young native victim. The case bears some resemblancey to that of murdered German Jewish teen Susanna F. who was killed by Iraqi asylum seeker Ali Bashar earlier this year. Bashar managed to flee Germany to Iraq where he was later apprehended and confessed to the crime.

In 2016, Gambian failed asylum seeker Abdou I. was arrested for the murder of American nanny Lauren M. who took him into her Vienna home to help him avoid deportation.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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